Northcentral University Writing Center
Tables


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Writing Center

Tables

 

Tables are important tools that allow information to be presented in a format that is easy to read and to understand. Microsoft Word’s Table feature allows Learners to create tables that meet APA guidelines.

 

Tables should complement a textural description and not duplicate it. Therefore, data should not be provided in the text and also presented in a table. Tables should have at least two columns and two rows.

 

The APA Publication Manual (5th ed.) discusses the size of tables and font in Section 3.72 (p. 174): “When typing tables, it is acceptable to turn them sideways (landscape orientation for setting up a laser printer) on the page or run them over several pages, but do not . . . reduce the type size.”

 

Although there is no direct specification for font size of table notes in the APA manual, every table note provided in this section’s examples (pp. 150-152, 162-169, 172) is in a noticeably smaller font than the font used for the table’s contents. It is recommended that writers print out a table to ensure the notes in the smaller font can be easily read.

 

APA does not allow the use of vertical lines in tables. Moreover, many tables only need three horizontal lines: one at the top of the table, one under the column heads, and one at the bottom of the table.

 

 

Incorrect with vertical lines

 

Gender

n

%

Males

55

83.3

Females

11

16.7

 

 

Correct with horizontal lines

 

Gender

n

%

Males

55

83.3

Females

11

16.7

 

 

The following is an example of a table with additional horizontal lines:

 

 

Group A

Group B

Gender

n

%

n

%

Males

55

83.3

13

59.0

Females

11

16.7

9

41.0

 

 

When formatting table numbers and titles for the List of Tables, using a soft return (i.e., Ctrl + Enter) will allow the two lines to appear correctly in the List of Tables. So, a table number and title in the text that look like the example on the left will look like the example on the right when the Microsoft Word List of Tables generator is used.

 

Table 18                                          Table 1 Demographics of Participants

Demographics of Participants                                                    

 

If tables from another source are being used, see Section 3.73 (pp.174-175) in the Publication Manual. This section also provides text citations for material reprinted from a book and a journal article. The critical issue here is that the writer is responsibly identifying the source of the figure or table being presented and is not presenting someone else’s work without an easy way for the audience to find the credit and retrieval information.

 

If the table or figure the writer wants to cite is provided in a published work, the writer will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce or adapt the table or figure. In academic publications, it is often the publisher, not the author, who holds the copyright to the contents of the publication.

 

In accord with APA Style, writers must cite their own (previous) course work in the current text. If the work has been published, then the writer would follow the APA format defined in Section 3.34, Quotation of Sources (pp. 117-122), in the APA Publication Manual. If the writer's work is unpublished (e.g., a paper submitted for a previous NCU course assignment), see Section 4.16, Unpublished Work and Publications of Limited Circulation (pp. 263-264), especially Examples 58 and 59.